The Komodo Dragon

Essay by Anonymous UserJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 1995

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The Komodo Dragon

What is a dragon? According to the dictionary a dragon is a fabulous monster represented generally as a huge winged reptile with a crested head and terrible claws often spitting fire. After listening to the report it will be up to the reader to decide whether the Komodo Dragon is really a dragon, or just another misunderstood reptile.

The Komodo Dragon was not known outside of Indonesia until 1912. Komodo was usually an uninhabited island like many others in the southeast Pacific and in the vacinity of Indonesia. It was only visited by the occasional pearl diver or sea turtle hunter. Suddenly reports began to surface of a giant lizard measuring twelve feet long. In 1910 Major P.A. Owens became annoyed with the reportsand decided to find out for himself. What he found was indeed a giant lizard. In fact it was a newely discovered species.

The giant lizard was forgotten until 1923 due to the first world war. The reason the lizards were so long ignored was because the island were so long uninhabited. Most of the stories were so highly exaggerated that no one believed the highly mendacious rumors.

In 1926 Douglas Burden an explorer/collector for the American Museum of Natural History decided that he was going to capture and bring back several living specimens. He set out on his journey hoping to bring back three monitors. When they arrived at Komodo, they went straight to work. They set up traps and snares, baited with dead animals. They had no luck until a small six foot lizard sized up the trap. As the lizard was about to seize the bait a large nine foot, battle scared monitorclaimed the prize. He Komodo grabbed the dead goat with his serrated...